Constructing a Budget

Budget Overview

VPUE Undergraduate Research Student Grants are intended to provide student projects with financial resources that would otherwise be unavailable. An integral part of your grant application is a line-item budget, indicating how much money your project needs and how the money will be spent.

The budget limit for each grant type is as follows:

  • $1,500 for a Small Grant or Conference Grant
  • $7,500 for a Major Grant or Chappell Lougee Scholarship (TBD)

Grants are primarily used for research expenses, such as:

  • Travel
  • Food and lodging
  • Art materials
  • Books and photocopies
  • Human subjects payments

Prohibited Budget Items

Items that VPUE Undergraduate Research grant funds cannot support include: 

  • Electronic equipment purchases (e.g. computers, printers, cameras, etc.)
  • Software
  • Lab supplies
  • Compensation for mentors or colleagues
  • Course tuition or workshop fees
  • Hiring assistants, performers, or other external services (e.g. book printing, transcription, translation, etc.)
  • Conference travel in cases where you are not presenting your own work
  • Travel or any other support for projects in locations where (a) the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory of Level 4 ("Do Not Travel") or Level 3 ("Reconsider Travel") for the country destination; (b) the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory of Level 4 or Level 3 (or associated language "Do Not Travel/Reconsider Travel") for the specific cities or regions within a country; or (c) there is other reliable information of significant health or safety risks. Please see "Eligibility" and "Special Requirements" for additional details with regards to international travel. 

Budget Guidelines and Policies

Small Grants can now support stipends for part-time projects throughout the academic year and the summer.

Major Grants and Chappell Lougee Scholarships go towards supporting students' full-time immersive projects over 10 weeks in the summer. This grant amount is intended primarily to cover a student's summer stipend for living expenses and any travel expenses associated with the project. 

If a project includes paying human subjects, the proposal must outline this request as a separate line item in the budget. For human subjects funding, Undergraduate Research provides these funds directly to the faculty mentor's department via fund transfer. If human subjects payments are part of your project, you will need to provide the PTA (project-task-award) number for this transfer. Consult your faculty mentor and/or your department's financial analyst for the correct PTA. If they have questions about which PTAs are eligible for VPUE transfers, please ask them to email with their questions.

Line-item Budget Examples

Small Grant Example 1: You must include a line-item budget in your grant proposal, such as:

  • Human Subjects payment = $X
  • Stipend = $Y
  • Total = $(X + Y) 

Major Grant and Chappell Lougee Grant Example 1: In your grant proposal, you must spell out the detailed week-by-week steps associated with your 10-week summer project. Given this information, your budget request could be as simple as:

  • A stipend for 10 weeks for this project = $7,500

Major Grant and Chappell Lougee Grant Example 2: If your 10-week summer project requires funds for human subjects payments, your line-item budget could look like this:

  • Human Subjects payment = $X
  • A stipend for 10 weeks for this project = $(7,500 - X)

Major Grant and Chappell Lougee Grant Example 3: While it is not required, detailing a line-item budget could help you assess the feasibility of the project:

  • Human Subjects payment = $X
  • Travel to Field Site = $Y
  • Lodging and Food at Field Site = $Z
  • A stipend for 10 weeks for this project = $(7,500 - X - Y - Z)